Asteroid Sar2667 visible over the English Channel, France and the UK


An asteroid has entered Earth’s atmosphere and burst into flames over the English Channel early Monday, in a colorful display captured by many residents walking along its path. Photos and video showed it leaving a bright green trail – before lighting up the night sky with flashes of orange.

The European Space Agency and NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies spotted the object, about a meter in diameter.

It was the seventh time in history that an asteroid impact has been predicted in advance. ESA said the accurate prediction is “a sign of rapid advances in global asteroid detection capabilities.”

“In the area? Look out for a #ShootingStar!” ESA tweeted on Sunday, noting that the tiny asteroid would surely impact Earth’s atmosphere over northern France around 4am Central European Time.

Those on the ground in southern England and near the French coast did just that, taking to social media to share their views of the fiery space rock – also known as “Sar2667”.

Many ventured outside in the early hours to capture the moment on video and described the ad as “splendid” And “Nice.” Others watched from their windows what the International Meteor Association called a “beautiful fireball” that would also be visible in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Those braving the wintry weather in the port city of Portsmouth, England said the scene was “The cold hands are worth it.” In Normandy, France, witnesses shared video of the sky flashing from blue to orange.

Many people took to Twitter to thank space agencies for alerting them to the spectacle in advance so they could position themselves to watch the celestial event — even if it meant staying up late.

Sometimes referred to as “minor planets,” asteroids are ancient pieces of debris left behind when the solar system formed about 4.6 billion years ago, according to NASA, which says it has counted more than 1.2 million asteroids.

In some cases, asteroids collide with each other, causing fragments to break off and form meteoroids, according to NASA. When meteoroids burn up as they enter Earth’s atmosphere, they create a streak of light across the sky. Asteroids orbit the sun and are known to move erratically by twisting and tumbling, NASA says.

Last month, a van-sized asteroid narrowly passed Earth, with NASA assuring people at the time that the 19-foot object would not end life as we know it on our planet.

A 19-foot asteroid will come “very close” to Earth tonight, NASA says

Unlike the asteroid visible over the English Channel on Monday, January’s giant asteroid, named 2023 BU, was less bright and therefore difficult to see from Earth, experts said.

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